Monday, April 28, 2014

Middle School Mentor-Mentee Activities

Our office copy of the booklet
Excerpts from and generous adaptations with blogger's commentary from 

My Mentor & Me, The Middle School Years

Dr. Susan G. Weinberger
The Governor's Prevention Partnership, 2003

1. Take photos and discuss how to take better ones. Build a portfolio.

2. Play games, e.g., hangman, jacks, tick-tack-toe, chess, checkers, Monopoly, Battleship, Life, Risk, Dic-tion-ary, Scrabble, Cranium, Cadoo, Legos...

3. Build models, e.g., rockets, kites, cars, motorcycles, planes, etc.

4. Plan a community service project  focused upon senior citizens. Rally the school to participate in the execution of it if possible.

5. Talk about your and your mentee's middle school years

6.  Sports, e.g., hit golf balls, shoot hoops, play soccer or hacky sack, or other. Research a sports figure.

7. Time management  How do you spend an average day? How long do you spend on each activity? Compile a list, and then discuss if you need to rearrange your schedule.

8. Join a club or activity.

  • Research what clubs are offered at [your] mentee's school.
  • Write down each club, its purpose and interview the leader to find out how to join and whether it is one that appeals to your mentee. [You might encourage your mentee to attend a meeting or two to evaluate.]
  • Set a goal to join one or two clubs.
  • Examples Dr. Weinberger cited are intermural sports, multicultural clubs, newspaper, chorus, band, orchestra, and foreign language.
  • Check with your mentee weekly to find out how they are doing with their clubs and activities.
  • Attend an event to support your mentee whenever appropriate.

7. Family tree Research the family name and origin. Ask how your mentee received his or her name. Help your mentee draw and put together a family tree. He or she may need interviews from family members. Design a family crest if one does not exist.

8. Calendar and schedule On a calendar write holidays, important activity days, special events, and birthdays. Discuss the punctuality, the importance of remembering birthdays, and planning ahead.

9. Bullying Even within this blog are anti-bullying ideas, but online are so many more resources. Ask your mentee what bullying is, if anyone at his or her school has been bullied, how did witnessing bullying or being bullied hurt, how should one react, and so on. Is your mentee a bully? If so, why?

10. Anger  Discuss anger both your own and your mentee's. When do you become angry? What were you like at his or her age? How do you handle anger? Offer your mentee some ways to cope. Ask what your mentee would recommend for you to do to diffuse anger.

11. Learn another language. Although rudimentary, learning simple phrases in Spanish or another language is positive. Your mentee may be able to teach you!

12. "Manners for Minors" as Dr. Weinberger entitles this topic--Discuss the meaning of the word etiquette, why etiquette is important, learn some basic skills, and practice. Eye contact, proper handshaking, straight posture, table settings, introductions, greetings, appearance, and other examples will be helpful. 

13. Arts and crafts encompass much. Perform a physical activity that requires reading instructions or following steps, e.g., origami, paper or balsa wood airplanes, polymer clay figures, bead jewelry, rubber stamps, making a gift or card, etc. 

14. Preparing for the transition to high school is critical. Share your own experiences, research, talk to a counselor, take photos of the high school, discuss the changes that will occur, e.g., in scheduling, peer group, schedule, etc. 

Dr. Mentor, aka Susan Weinberger, had other topics along with more discussion in her booklet.

Adapted 4-22-14

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